Acupuncture Improves Nerve Regeneration in Chemo-Induced Neuropathy

Acupuncture improves nerve regeneration. German researchers at  the University Medical Center, Hamburg-Eppendorf, have found that acupuncture improves nerve regeneration in chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. The progress is measurable both in terms of subjective reporting by patients, and objective neurological findings.

In a cross-over study, 60 patients were randomly assigned to either an acupuncture group, or to a waiting list control group. Ten acupuncture sessions were given once per week. The groups were then reversed, for a further ten weeks of treatment to be given this time to the former waiting list group.

After 28 weeks, evaluation of both groups showed that sensory nerve amplitude and conduction velocity were both improved after acupuncture, compared with the control group. Acupuncture patients also reported improvements in symptoms such as burning pain, cramps, numbness, symptom frequency and unsteadiness of gait. Physical examination revealed that acupuncture patients had significant improvements in blind walking, heel-to-toe walking, ability to perceive vibration and neuropathy deficit scores, compared with the waiting list group.

(Acupuncture improves chemotherapy-induced neuropathy explored by neurophysiological & clinical outcomes – The randomized, controlled, cross-over ACUCIN trial. Phytomedicine, September 2022.)

Acupuncture helps Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathy

Acupuncture in Exeter: research from New York says acupuncture helps chemotherapy-induced neuropathy. American researchers investigating whether acupuncture helps chemotherapy-induced neuropathy, have conducted a three-arm randomised trial at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York.  A group of 75 cancer patients were recruited. All had completed chemotherapy at least three months prior, and were experiencing moderate to severe neuropathy in the form of numbness, tingling or pain. Patients were randomly assigned to either real acupuncture, sham acupuncture or usual care. Acupuncture was given in the form of ten sessions over eight weeks, and biweekly for the first fortnight.

The real acupuncture group exhibited statistically significant improvements in quality of life, anxiety, insomnia and fatigue.

(Health-Related Quality of Life in Cancer Survivors with Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Oncologist, November 2021.)

Acupuncture and Radiotherapy

A clinical trial in London has shown the feasibility and usefulness of providing acupuncture within a busy NHS radiotherapy unit. A total of 101 cancer patients were randomised to receive either standard care in the unit, or standard care plus acupuncture. The latter was given to assist with common symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, vomiting, hot flushes, mood and sleep problems. Patients were given between three and eight acupuncture treatments, one week apart.

Patients reported qualitatively that they valued the positive impact acupuncture had, with improvements in fatigue, nausea, vomiting, pain, insomnia and shortness of breath being noted. Quantitatively, only improvements in fatigue were identified.

(A feasibility trial of acupuncture in cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy treatment. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, May 2021.)

Acupuncture for Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy

Acupuncture in Exeter: acupuncture for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. An American team, part funded by the US Government’s National Institutes of Health, has shown that acupuncture for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, offers significant improvements over usual care. The pilot randomised trial recruited 75 patients who had received at least three months of chemotherapy. They compared eight weeks of acupuncture, with both sham acupuncture and usual care. Compared with usual care, real acupuncture had the greatest effect on pain, tingling and numbness.

From baseline to week 8, the mean pain reduction in the real acupuncture group was -1.75, that for sham acupuncture was -0.91, and that for usual care was -0.19. At 12 week follow-up, real acupuncture maintained virtually all of its improvement, whilst sham had dropped back to -0.34.

(Effect of Acupuncture vs Sham Procedure on Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Journal of the American Medical Association Network Open, 11 March 2020.)

Acupuncture helps Cancer Pain & Reduces Medication Use

Acupuncture in Exeter: acupuncture helps cancer pain.

Acupuncture helps cancer pain quickly and reduces the use of analgesics, according to researchers. A total of 160 patients were randomly assigned to one of four groups: conventional opioid painkillers only; opioids plus wrist-ankle acupuncture; opioids plus ear acupuncture; opioids plus wrist-ankle and ear acupuncture.

The analgesic effect reported in the group receiving opioids only, was significantly lower than that reported in the three acupuncture groups. The most effective analgesic effect was found in the group receiving wrist-ankle plus ear acupuncture: 45% of patients in this group reported pain within a tolerable range and felt no need for medication.

(Effect of wrist-ankle acupuncture therapy combined with auricular acupuncture on cancer pain: A four-parallel arm randomized controlled trial. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, May 2020.)